Homes flooded, infrastructure overwhelmed as Israel endures more torrential downpours

As flood waters recede in storm-battered Nahariya, a scene of large-scale devastation emerges; ; police say roads in north remain closed to traffic as authorities try to clear away debris; El Al flight diverted to southern airport as strong winds wrack center of country
Fierce storms and heavy rain continued to pound Israel for a second day on Thursday, with as massive flooding in cities and rivers caused major damage to homes, vehicles and infrastructure.
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  • In the northern city of Nahariya, which was hit by violent flooding on Wednesday, the water level went down significantly after a lull in rainfall for several hours, revealing huge devastation.
    5 View gallery
    מושב גבעתי
    מושב גבעתי
    Flood in Moshav Givati in southern Israel
    (Photo: Israel Fire and Rescue Authority )
    Water has stopped pouring down the city's roads, but there are still massive scattered puddles and extensive damage all across the city.
    Extensive flooding across Israel
    (Video: Yossi Damari, Israel Fire and Rescue Services)
    The central Ga'aton Street will remain closed to vehicles as authorities try to clear roads of debris swept along by the floodwater.
    All municipal services, activities and institutions in Nahariya were to remain shut Thursday, including all local schools and kindergartens.
    5 View gallery
    הצפות ב נהריה
    הצפות ב נהריה
    Floods in Nahariya
    (Photo: Kobi Snir)
    A 38-year-old man drowned on Wednesday in a massive flood in the coastal city after he was washed away by floodwater while trying to save a baby he believed was inside a flooded vehicle.
    Moti Ben Shabbat was reported missing in the morning hours after he fell into the water, trying to rescue passengers whose vehicle had been trapped in a flood that besieged the entire city. His body was recovered several hours later.
    5 View gallery
    הצפות בנהריה
    הצפות בנהריה
    Flooding in Nahariya
    (Photo: Ziva Hess)
    The heavy rainfall has overflown overnight Thursday a river in central Israel, which caused severe flooding in the city of Rosh HaAyin, submerging houses and vehicles.
    5 View gallery
    הצפות בפתח תקווה
    הצפות בפתח תקווה
    A submerged vehicle in Petah Tikva
    (Photo: Israel Fire and Rescue Authority)
    Firefighting and rescue teams were operating throughout the night in the city, and reported no injuries.
    5 View gallery
    הצפות בראש העין
    הצפות בראש העין
    Flooding in Rosh Ha'Ayin
    (Photo: Yossi Damari)
    The Lachish River near the southern city of Ashdod also overflowed, causing extensive floods in the area.
    Rescue teams saved a dog carried away by the floodwater who became trapped under the wooden floor of a home. The crew had to cut through the floor using saws and eventually rescued the animal, who was suffering from hypothermia.
    In Tel Aviv, two balconies collapsed, one on Kaplan Street in the center of the city. No injuries were reported and there is no danger of further collapse in the building.
    Balcony in Tel Aviv collapses following harsh weather
    (Photo: Ofir Israeli)
    Many roads in the north remain closed to traffic, police said Thursday, calling on drivers to drive in accordance with road conditions.
    An El Al flight from Amsterdam to Ben Gurion Airport was forced to land at Ramon Airport in southern Israel due to harsh weather conditions.
    The Israeli flag carrier said that the storms in the center of the country, combined with a technical malfunction on the Boeing 737 airplane, led the plane to continue on southwards, where weather conditions were better and safer for landing.
    Following the heavy rains, the Sea of Galilee's water level rose by 23 centimeters (9 inches) overnight, standing at 211.10 meters below sea level, The Government Water and Sewage Authority reported on Thursday.
    The waterline has risen by a total of 90 cm (35.4 inches) since the beginning of Israel's rainy season.
    The Sea of Galilee is still 2.30 meters (8'3 feet) short of reaching its full capacity.
    Mount Hermon Ski Resort reported intermittent snowfall and that half a meter (1'7 feet) of snow has piled up on the mountain's lower level overnight.
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